Political battles are nothing new to Washington D.C. However, Social Security is becoming a more frequent battle zone for partisan politics, and the latest battle could leave Americans with disabilities hurting and lost.
Will Social Security Survive the Latest Washington D.C. Battle Royale?
The President wants to institute an $11.1 billion administrative budget for the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2017. But the House would rather its $10.3 billion administrative budget pass and fund the administration through 2017. This point of contention is now sending waves through Washington, and has left senior citizens and people with disabilities directly in the crosshairs.
The SSA says that the budget purposed by the House would leave its offices struggling just to pay the electric bills, and many experts say the SSA isn’t exaggerating. Since 2010 the SSA has closed 60 field offices and 500 mobile Social Security offices. Right now the average wait time for applicants trying to get benefits is 500 days, and the waitlist for an appointment at your local Social Security offices is estimated to take three weeks. And this is the government service the House wants to cut the budget for?
The agency expects that if the House’s budget is passed, it will have to put employees on a two-week furlough and close all of its offices during that time. It also anticipates a hiring freeze and an extension of wait times for disability claims. However, on the president’s budget, the SSA would anticipate improvements to wait times as well as increased staff at swamped regional offices.
What do you think would be the best move for the SSA? Is the House right to want a tighter budget, or should the President’s recommendations lead the way into 2017? Log on to Facebook and Twitter to chime in, and keep reading the news that matters to Oklahomans with disabilities.
Brought to you by the Tulsa disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman—Attorneys at Law.